Q&A With Dylan Gandy

Colts offensive lineman Dylan Gandy was a key component of the offensive line at guard, rotating with Ryan Lilja at the left guard spot this season.'s Ed Thompson caught up with him to talk about his Super Bowl week experience.

Ed Thompson: Tell me a little bit about your week in Miami, what was it like leading up to the Super Bowl?

Dylan Gandy: It's really hard to describe. We tried to keep it as normal as we could and stay in the same routines we normally would have. Guys go out certain nights at home and do the same thing there and eat or whatever the case may be, so we did that. We went out a few times, the linemen hung out a lot together and we actually have a buddy who's no longer playing, but lives in Miami, so he took us out to dinner one night. It was just a good time and one thing that was a little different was we were on the beach so I went out and had a little beach time during the week during our free time.

ET: What was going through your head the night before the Super Bowl?

DG: It was pretty exciting, you'd turn on the TV and Remember The Titans was playing and you turn the channel because you try not to get too pumped up. It's hard because you want to enjoy the moment, you want to live in it, but at the same time you do not want to let yourself get overly excited and take away from your focus. It was interesting trying to balance that.

ET: You went to a different hotel the night before, who'd you room with that night?

DG: I thought I'd be with (OG) Matt Ulrich, but we all had our own rooms.

ET: What was it like in the locker room 10-15 minutes before game time?

DG: I really feel like everybody did a good job of keeping the attitude before the game pretty similar. When we first got to the locker room some of the guys took out their camcorders and recorded their name plate and it said Super Bowl everywhere, but then they put stuff away and got ready. Guys were pretty loose, the O-line tends to be pretty loose before the game as a whole and the guys stayed that way. And the guys who get quiet and focused they did that. I thought it was pretty cool how everybody did what they normally do.

ET: You guys had a crazy first half with the two teams committing six turnovers. But you go in at halftime with the lead. What was said and what happened during halftime in your locker room?

DG: We really felt good, especially the unit on the offensive line, we felt like we were doing a good job. We had a lot of confidence in that if we just keep doing what we're doing as far as protecting and run blocking, we have great skill guys. Peyton (Manning) and those guys we know they're going to do exactly what they ended up doing. We know it's just a matter of time if we give good protection. We know it's just a matter of time until those guys just tear apart who we're playing -- not just the Bears, but whoever we're out there playing.

Jeff Saturday and Dylan Gandy (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
ET: Was there any concern on the sideline during the third quarter when you were dominating the game, but the scoreboard was still pretty close?

DG: We definitely were not panicked about that because we just can't worry about it. It's just one of those deals where we're obviously doing what we're supposed to be doing, we're just not finishing. And we knew we were about to start finishing, so there was no reason to panic.

ET: Tell us a little bit about rookie OT Charlie Johnson who ended up coming in for RT Ryan Diem and played well. What were your observations about him this year?

DG: Charlie's done a great job this year of coming in and having to play a couple games early and doing really well with that. And then this week, not expecting to play at all in the Super Bowl, he came in and did a good job. They're (the Bears) a good defensive line and he did a solid job keeping them out of there. And he just stayed on his guy. We were all real proud of the way he played.

ET: Is there anything that comes to mind that you can put into words about the post game moments out on that field?

DG: It's a pretty overwhelming experience. You're out there looking for your teammates to celebrate with them, you're looking for the trophy, you're looking for your girlfriend or wife whatever the case may be and it was just a lot of fun. It's hard to put into words, that's for sure.

ET: Then you guys got to party together later in the evening…

DG: Yeah we didn't get back to the hotel from the game until nearly two o'clock (a.m.), but then we got to party and it was a great celebration.

ET: Has the realization set in that with free agency coming up that this was the last game all 53 of you guys will play together? And more personally for you possibly the last time you'll be playing with fellow guards Ryan Lilja and Jake Scott since they're both restricted free agents?

ET: Yeah, as a team Tony (Dungy) made that a very big point that we can't ride on the fact that we think we'll get back here someday. He talked about looking and comparing how the last time the Colts were in the AFC Championship, there were less than twenty guys left active from that team. So he really talked a lot about that to help it sink in to us, and you couldn't help but feel grateful to be around the guys you're around. But other than that, Lilja, Jake and I don't really talk about that a lot. We know we really respect and enjoy each other and we have it in our minds what we think will happen, but the truth of the matter is we control nothing there. Us speculating won't help so there's no sense in doing that. We hope for us to be able to play together again next year, but there's nothing we can do to control that situation. So there's no sense in thinking about it a whole lot.

ET: Less than a week after winning a Super Bowl, you had another big event in your life.

DG: Yeah, I got engaged to a wonderful girl and I'm excited to start this journey with her. I met her after I came to Indiana. We were in a bible study through our church together and we got to know each other through that.

ET: Is there anything you'd like to say to the Colts fans who read this feature?

DG: I just want to let them know how much I appreciated their great support at the parade and in the RCA Dome when we came home and throughout the past years. It's been great and we definitely appreciate them.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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